7 Ways Ecommerce Businesses Can Use WhatsApp For Customer Support

WhatsApp is dominating the messenger game with over 2 billion users globally. Out of this, over 75 million users are from the United States. This WhatsApp statistic is expected to increase to 85 million users by the year 2023 and the years to come.

Due to the release of WhatsApp Business API in August 2018, businesses can actually use the platform to talk to their customers by making announcements, offering the best deals and discounts to their customers. More importantly, they can offer customer support in a simple yet reliable way. 

In this blog, we will look at how e-commerce businesses can use WhatsApp for customer support.

Using WhatsApp for customer support 

If you are a small to medium-sized business, using the WhatsApp business app will cater to your customer support needs. However, if you are looking to use WhatsApp Business on a larger scale and are expecting a high volume of customer service messages, the free version of the app simply will not suffice. 

In that case, you can opt for the WhatsApp Business API. It not only verifies you by adding a green tick by your business name but it also provides you with a shared inbox so that you can have a consolidated dashboard for your customer support agents. 

Still, both can be used for customer support. Let’s look at how your business can go the extra mile by including WhatsApp in your customer service strategy. 

FAQ automation

By using WhatsApp, customer service teams can automate messaging both to greet customers and to reply after hours to reassure them they will be attended to as soon as possible. 

You can even configure a chatbot to automatically answer routine questions that come up frequently. Not only does this let you provide service throughout the day, but it allows customer support agents to address more complicated queries while sparing your customers the wait since their questions can easily be answered.

With an app like quickreply.ai, your business can now easily set up responses to frequently asked questions to provide instant support to your customers.

Share product information

Let’s acknowledge one important feature of WhatsApp right off the bat— it is free to use. So, as a growing business, would you not want to leverage every relevant platform to market your products?

In addition to that, WhatsApp also has an open rate of 98% which means you can share information on a range of products using pictures, videos, and you can even break the monotony of text-based messages using GIFs.

In case your business sells more complex products, you can even share PDFs with customers or share links to relevant pages on your website for a deeper understanding of the product.

If you plan on sending videos to share information about your products, try sending a YouTube link. This way, the customer does not have to download a video and use up available space on their phone. But what’s even more beneficial is the fact that YouTube videos play in-app itself. This way, your customer does not have to leave the app to know more about your products.

Give relevant recommendations

WhatsApp is a great way to stay in touch with customers once they have completed their purchases. For example, you can use their purchase history to send proactive messages and personalized recommendations for potential upsell opportunities. 

The most important thing here is, of course, to ensure that your customer has some sort of motivation for placing another order. You could incentivize your customers by including anything from quantity-related discount offers or product bundle bonuses for repeat buyers, or even limited-time deals and giveaway tokens if needed.

These incentives coupled with the right recommendations can increase your chances of making the next sale almost immediately.

Share follow-up product care messages

An excellent way to employ your WhatsApp Business channel as a customer support service is by sending timely product care reminders after making a sale. If your business is one that often gets repeat orders, you can use this method to ensure customers are receiving the right products or another product within the time frame they've requested.

For example, if you are in the business of selling eyewear. After selling a product to your customer, you can send them a message that details how they can care for their eyeglasses and extend their life. 

What’s more, these customer service messages can also link to a blog post on your website so that your brand can enjoy cross-platform engagement.

Provide order status

There's a reason WhatsApp is called the world's most powerful messaging app. It offers an impressive toolset for handling customer support, helping you to build up your brand one message at a time. 

One of the more underutilized features is a business' ability to send out order confirmations and shipping updates directly through the app. Not only that, you can send tracking information attached as well, if applicable.

Of course, the fact that you can also add multimedia to the order status updates is an added bonus.

Schedule calls 

If you want to retain your customers, keep them coming back for more. Instead of just sending them a few texts with the information they expect to receive, there are ways to take your customer support one step further. 

A text message or even using imagery simply does not provide the personal touch that you get when talking over the phone with someone directly. Most often than not, it is much easier to feel like your voice is being heard on a phone call versus when conveyed through text alone. 

Phone conversations between businesses and their customers have always been popular as a way to even resolve disputes in an efficient manner. However, it is highly important that you check with them first before jumping on a call so as not to come across as pushy or overly enthusiastic.

This way, you will have an easier time resolving any misunderstandings because you will be better able to comprehend their issue when they speak.

In case you are calling your customer on WhatsApp instead of a direct call, you can even save on call costs especially if it is an international call.

Gather insights

Because WhatsApp is primarily a messaging app, you can use it to request feedback in a more relaxed and simpler way. You can instantly ask questions that help you learn where you can improve your customer support and services by sending out surveys or asking customers to rate their experiences at the end of the interaction. 

This is your opportunity to get straight down to business and ask pertinent questions that will help you create a richer experience for future interactions with current and future customers. 

For example, it makes sense to check in with a customer to see what they think of their shopping experience with your brand or perhaps if they would like something changed moving forward. This provides an excellent platform for improving your service within the company.

In closing

Using WhatsApp for customer service has some unique benefits— from empowering customers with quick solutions to increasing support response and overall customer satisfaction.

Also, WhatsApp has a huge user base and a high amount of engagement. It enables interaction between e-commerce businesses and their customers in real-time. Features like WhatsApp Business API also enable businesses to send automated responses to customer queries, which is especially useful when a business wants to be sure that they deliver the best customer experience possible at key points during the customer journey.

The bottom line is this: the WhatsApp business API is a useful way to communicate with customers, but it is up to e-commerce businesses and solution providers to decide how they want to use it. 

Can chatbots entirely replace human customer service reps? Not quite, but if businesses use them to supplement and enhance the customer service they already provide, they are likely to see improvements in their customer support.

If used smartly, WhatsApp Business is an effective tool to improve customer loyalty and retention, especially with younger customers who connect better via text message.

About the author

This post is contributed by QuickReply.ai, a WhatsApp marketing app for Shopify stores that enables them to run WhatsApp broadcasts, marketing, sales and support campaigns.